Champions Day 1, Breeders' Cup 0

Champions Day 1, Breeders' Cup 0. That appeared to be the score line yesterday as far as Frankel is concerned, when connections of the world's highest-rated horse said that they doubted California in November would provide the right platform for a possible swansong.

The unbeaten superstar colt, named by owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah in honour of the legendary late US trainer Bobby Frankel, whose outstanding career was forged in California, appears more likely to run at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day two weeks before the Breeders' Cup.

Plan A may be the 1m2f Champion Stakes, depending on how he has fared over that trip during the summer, and Ascot could mark the culmination of a brilliant career.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the owner, said: "We are thinking about the Lockinge first of all with Frankel and he worked nicely this morning. The plan is to campaign him over a mile and two furlongs later in the year, so I doubt there would be a suitable race for him at the Breeders' Cup."

The Sir Henry Cecil-trained 2,000 Guineas hero was back in action on Newmarket's Cambridge Road Polytrack, where he covered 1m in commanding style with his half-brother and regular lead horse Bullet Train.

Cecil has Frankel on course to reappear over 1m in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 19, after which a choice of engagements at Royal Ascot includes the 1m2f Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Coral have priced up a Queen Anne match bet between Frankel and Australian star Black Caviar, going 4-6 and 11-10, and rate Frankel a 7-4 shot to remain unbeaten this year.

Beyond the royal meeting, Frankel's summer programme may remain over the longer trip, with the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July and Juddmonte International at York in August obvious possibilities.

Reacting to the news that Ascot was a more likely autumn goal than Santa Anita, BCS chief executive Rod Street said yesterday: "We'd naturally be delighted. We think Frankel helped make the first year of Champions Day very special.

"If he were to play a leading role on Champions Day in the Champion Stakes or the Queen Elizabeth II, we'd be thrilled."

David Milne, Racing Post
25 March 2012

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Frankel Facts

He is the first horse in history to win the Sussex Stakes Gr.1 at Goodwood twice.